Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rancho Cordova

Several days ago Rancho Cordova was notified that it is a finalist for an award as a great American city, and it is an acknowledgement surely merited, as this Sacramento Business Journal story reveals.

This puts Rancho Cordova into pretty good company as you can see by the list of other finalists.

We were living in Gold River when Rancho was in the initial process of its incorporation and I tried to get my neighbors to join the effort, but was unsuccessful; though the subsequent history has certainly shown that it would have been a smart move by Gold River to have become part of the new city.

There are many reasons for Rancho Cordova’s success, beginning with the folks who led the effort and continue to exert their wise influence over its growth.

The hiring of Ted Gaebler, one of the country’s best public administrators and the co-author of a public administration classic, Reinventing Government: How the Entrepreneurial Spirit is Transforming the Public Sector, was a very good decision; and even the struggle with Sacramento County during the incorporation and after, all of which led to a baptism by fire of the new city and its leaders, developing skills that are serving them well now.

One of the major results of the incorporation has been their involvment in the American River Parkway, which is a very good thing.

An excerpt from the news story.

“Rancho Cordova is a finalist for an All-America City Award, a high-profile honor that recognizes communities that address issues from crime to economic development.

“The city, which was incorporated in 2003, is among 32 finalists for the honor. The National Civic League will award 10 cities with the All-America City Award in June in Tampa, Fla.

“We feel honored and privileged to be finalists in this very prestigious competition,” Rancho Cordova city manager Ted Gaebler said in a news release. “Even though we are a young city, we have responded to and developed strong relationships with the various segments of our community that demonstrate the inclusiveness, collaboration, civic engagement and innovation of the All-America City Award.”

“The city has earned a two-step upgrade in its bond rating to an A+ by Standard & Poor’s, and Rancho curbed property and violent crimes by 25 percent and 14 percent during the past year, respectively.”